The first Zambia FLEAT (Faith Leader Environmental Advocacy Training) was held on Zoom from 19 – 21 May 2021.
Zambia is predominantly Christian with 95% of the population identifying Christians from different denominations. The FLEAT group consisted of 28 faith leaders of which 10 were women.
The workshop started with our Faith Leader Liaison, Rev. Berry Behr opening with a beautiful interfaith prayer to the Earth, and our Executive Director, Francesca de Gasparis, welcomed the group and gave a brief history of SAFCEI.
We immediately went into group work, identifying the environmental challenges were in Zambia. Some of the themes that came up were waste management, open pit holes due to mining, water pollution, deforestation etc.
SAFCEI Climate Justice Coordinator, Gabriel Manyangadze presented our findings from research that was done on the impact on food production as a result of the initiatives of Alliance for the Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) in Southern Africa which includes Zambia. AGRA, which is funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other organisations.
I did a presentation on the 2017 landmark court case against a corrupt and illegal nuclear deal in South Africa by Earthlife Africa Johannesburg and SAFCEI. We were happy to learn that The Councils of Churches Zambia (CCZ) has written a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs in Lusaka voicing their disapproval of the ratification of the treaty on non-proliferation of nuclear weapons.
We invited Belinda Crawford from the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s Ujamaa Centre for Biblical and Theological Community Development and Research to do a presentation on Environmental Stewardship in Communities.
The Faith leaders ended the 3 introductory training session by developing a 6 month plan as a way forward. Examples of their plans include a survey of how waste is being recycled in parishes, which organisations are working on food security and indigionous seeds, and collaborating with WWF around tree planting campaigns.
We are looking forward to meeting with them again in November where they will give feedback on what they have achieved.
Final CCZ letter TPNW advocacy MOFA Zambia (1)